National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS)

The Rock Climbing Wall is classed as an awarding centre authorised to provide the NICAS program up to level 4. The four levels are:-

1. New Climber
An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

2. Foundation Climber
Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

3. Technical Climber
A more advanced top-roping and bouldering award that focusses on developing technique and movement skills. This is aimed at ensuring a candidate possesses the knowledge and skill to climb and belay safely at any climbing facility (whether or not under supervision or with back-up) and operate in a responsible manner. Achievement at this level is broadly equivalent to a pass at GCSE.

4. Lead Climber
Concentrating on the skills required to lead climb proficiently. Aimed at developing a self-motivated climber who has a wide range of skills and has reached a high level of competence, with a desire to progress by identifying and setting goals.

There is a fifth level called Advanced Climber which focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing, as well as experience of local and national competitions. This is available in Primary centers offering NICAS level 5 – the nearest to The Rock is the Beacon Climbing Centre in Caernarfon.

The key aim is to provide a safe introduction to climbing for young people aged 7 years and up on artificial climbing structures (e.g indoor climbing walls). Those who are keen to progress through to the higher levels also start to look wider and learn more about the history, ethics and styles of both indoor and outdoor climbing.

The nationally-recognised scheme also helps to standardise the teaching and coaching of young people in an engaging manner. 

All involved, the climber, parent and coach, can easily monitor and record skill development and progression through the sport.